“All right there Jase. How’s it going?”
is my usual opening line.

It’s usually cold, being late Feb,
with a wind worrying at the hedges.
I shuffle there, inspecting your grave,
the leaning headstone ("erected
by his family and many friends"),
the borderless edge which every year
I vow to sort and never do.

I don’t know what to say next,
place the flowers, sniff the air,
fiddle in front of silence.

“You’re not missing much Jase,”
is usually my next remark.

I like to think that under the ground
lies the huge wordless wisdom of the dead,
that you became safely part of.
Your life, cut short, briefly blazed,
then moved along. This year, year twenty one -
so your death is nearly equal with your life,
soon will overtake and endlessly outlast it.

I stay a while and tell you that I loved you,
my foster brother, cool and warm,
now far from the madding crowd
in this crowded plot, fuller year by year.